The Mind's Ear Program #34: "Regret This Very Day, Volume II: "Fraternally We Stand"
On November 18th, 1978, 918 people perished in Guyana in what has come to be known as the Jonestown Tragedy. The vast majority of those who perished were American citizens, and the Jonestown Tragedy remained the greatest loss of American life in a single deliberate act until the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11th, 2001. “Regret this very Day” is a multi-part, nonlinear experimental radio documentary about the Peoples Temple and its charismatic founder Jim Jones produced by Ernestus Jiminy Chald. Unlike more traditional documentaries, “Regret this very Day” has no narrator or explanatory notes to fill the listener in on the particularities of what occurred within the Peoples Temple. Instead, Ernestus Jiminy Chald laboriously examined hundreds of hours of recorded tapes left behind by the Peoples Temple and selected material directly from these tapes to give the listener an insider glimpse into the world that Jim Jones and his followers inhabited.
People often wonder how this sort of event could have happened. Why would nearly 1,000 people become so devoted to a single man and his revolutionary cause that they would literally give up their lives for him when ordered to do so? To many, such a notion seems absurd and unfathomable. But when one listens to these tapes, and considers the circumstances surrounding what happened in Jonestown on that fateful day and the events that led up to it, a portrait begins to emerge of a community that simply wanted to create a better world for their children than the racist, hateful world that American society offered them, and of the captivating leader who promised to create that world for them.
This program was produced by Ernestus Jiminy Chald.
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